Finale in the Southeast '17 - 19: On top of the Greek Rail-Olympus (50 p.)

Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here)


Proud Earthling

To the previous part of the series:
Canine Southeast '17 - 18: Feeding Time at Gorgopotamos (50 p.)

The video for this part (please set to 1080p quality / full-screen mode):

October 27 2017

I left my hotel at Loutrá Ipatis in the dark and arrived at the spot near Iráklia shortly before 8 a.m.
Some workers stopped by to check if I did not take anything from Euromarble, but were very friendly once I explained I just waited to take a few pictures.

Morning commuter traffic rushed past towards Lamia, including this formerly Swiss postbus.

I expected IC 51 Thessaloniki – Athens, scheduled departure from Lianokladi at 8:10, but it did not arrive in time and the online display also was not updated. It was getting close with the next train into the opposite direction, but finally - at 8:45 - it appeared in the distance above Ano Vardates village.

Emerging into the morning sunlight at Trachis station.

Cotton, olive groves and a spectacular mountain line - it truly is the Greek rail-Olympus!

The sun had reached the plain providing additional mystical moods with rising clouds of light haze.

The road is leading straight to the end of Asopós Gorge, Thermopylae to the left.

I quickly drove there and greeted a walker.

The sidirodrome-diadrome brought to you by the community (dímos) of Gorgopótamos.

First, some serpentines to climb - this Thermopylae-view chair probably was not provided by the community (iPhone-panorama).

Onto the railroad trail. Time was critical for IC 50 from Athens, scheduled 9:41 at Lianokladi and passing here fifteen minutes earlier. At 9:28, I reached the first spot featuring a rail view...

... luckily IC 50 arrived fifteen minutes late at 9:40 a.m.

The skin-friendly Mediterranean vegetation known from many trips was dominated here by the kermes oak, a bush with stingy, clingy leaves... I even found these "special friends" of mine days later in my pockets.

Is it possible? Yes! Asopós Gorge panorama: The river is flowing into the Malian Gulf next to Thermopylae.

Flowers in late October and caves.

The only time of day with somewhat denser traffic: express 884 to Kalabaka showed up punctually at 10:48 a.m.
The sun made it into the valley even in fall.

For me, this is the most spectacular view of the line.

The loco appeared one more time...

I walked back.

Bike tour across Asopós River.

Panorama from Lamia to the left in the background, via the Malian Gulf, Asopós River and Thermopylae to the railroad gallery in the right corner.

Next, I made proper acquaintance of my "special friends" following a footpath through dense oak bushes, reaching...

... this view. IC 52 from Athens passed by quite punctually at 12:33.

Like a stone monument to Yanis "Middle Finger" Varoufakis... ;-)

I waited some more as IC 55 to Athens only came 45 minutes delayed at 2:05 p.m. At least the sun had reached its optimum position by the time the class 220 engine nicknamed "Marlboro" passed by.

My probably last picture from this line: a panorama made of portrait-format photos. I was standing on the concrete roof of a round bunker, seen to the right.

Luckily, I escaped the oaks and reached a proper road.
Maybe the wrong tactics were used, not only the Spartans followed the tortoise formation here. *
(* historically not correct, but it was called for ;-))

My car stood parked next to this picturesque church. I had to drive 95 miles on the freeway north to Larissa and hoped to catch IC 59 in the Plain of Thessaly with proper Mount Olympus in the background. However, due to the delay of IC 55 I did not make it in time, so continued straight to the last planned spot...

As compensation, the "third hand" took pictures of 9570 ft high Mount Olympus at Thessaloniki harbor in the morning.

In the meantime, I had reached Chálki in the Plain of Thessaly on the line Volos - Larissa, converted from meter gauge in 1960.

Chálki station on the former Thessalian Railways is not in operation anymore.

I was unsure if a train was actually about to come and started to pack in order to catch an earlier train from Larissa, where I was about to return the car. A semaphore signal out of use for decades in the background.

Suddenly, the grade crossing started ringing, and a MAN/Hellenic Shipyards DMU as local train 2571 Volos (5:25) - Larissa (6:13) sped past at 6:13 p.m.

My planned good-bye picture with train on bridge and semaphore in evening mood still was possible. Afterwards, I did not catch the early train to Thessaloniki due to evening commuter traffic jams. That was it from Greece - for now! is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.